The Settlers of Catan is a German board game by Klaus Teuber that has been around for a few years. Players are settlers on a new island and must work together to share resources but are also vying to earn enough victory points to win the game.
The playing field of the island of Catan is randomly put together with hexagon tiles at the beginning of the game. Each area produces a resource like wood, sheep, or oil. Players will use these resources to build roads, settlements, and cities.
Each person's land produces a resource. You can also get resources through trading with other players. It is a delicate balance to trade for what you need and later to trade selectively to a player who is close to winning.
A city earns a player one victory point. Settlements that are upgraded to cities also earn victory points. There are also other ways to earn victory points like having the longest road. Of course, these points will be transferred to whomever has the longest road at the time. The first person to have ten victory points at the end of their turn wins.
Rolling two six-sided dice on a player's turn will determine which resources will produce. Also, if a player rolls a seven, then he can steal one resource from any player and move the thief marker to any hex. That resource will not produce as long as the robber is on that spot.
The Settlers of Catan is an extremely fun game for up to four players. An expansion set can be bought separately that will allow up to six players . There are many Catan games that have been released since Settlers as well as several Catan-like online computer games.